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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2012, 03:59 PM
MayorAdamWest MayorAdamWest is offline
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The other car

Most of us own a 5-series here (I've got a 2012 550xi), but some of you, like me, want another car as well. Something fun. I sold my Cayman a few months ago and miss it. Does anyone have suggestions for the car with the most bang for the buck under 20k (used is fine)? This would just be for driving all the curvy roads in northern California. I've seen a couple 135's under 20k, but they're rare. Would love to find an 2002 or 2006 M roadster. Other suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2012, 04:17 PM
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2012, 04:46 PM
Stonehauler Stonehauler is offline
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assuming you want a two seater, RWD, and something from the 2001 on...

MX-5, Z3 or Z4 roadster, S2000, Corvette.

If you want a 4 place car
Mustang, Camaro, RX-7, Mini Cooper S (best FWD car I have driven).

If you are looking Bang for the Buck...MX-5 or the Corvette for a 2 seater (2008 MX-5, 2004 Corvette)
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2012, 07:53 PM
kc1953 kc1953 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
Most of us own a 5-series here (I've got a 2012 550xi), but some of you, like me, want another car as well. Something fun. I sold my Cayman a few months ago and miss it. Does anyone have suggestions for the car with the most bang for the buck under 20k (used is fine)? This would just be for driving all the curvy roads in northern California. I've seen a couple 135's under 20k, but they're rare. Would love to find an 2002 or 2006 M roadster. Other suggestions?
How about a miata
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2012, 08:04 PM
MayorAdamWest MayorAdamWest is offline
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Miata is a bit underpowered.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2012, 08:24 PM
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2012, 08:30 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Having owned six Corvettes in the last 11 years (seven total going back further) I vote for the Corvette. Starting with the C5 (1997) they are very good cars. There are known problems of course, but by now most cars with these problems would be cured. "Corvetteforum.com" is so active it's more like a chat room. Any known problem gets identified and fixed pretty quickly.

The C5 ran from 1997-2004, the C6 2005 through current. There are plenty of them out there, and as with any special interest cars, you can find them with relatively low miles that have been babied.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2012, 08:31 PM
Stonehauler Stonehauler is offline
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If the MX-5 (Miata) is underpowered, what are you looking for?
What HP or 0-60 range?
2 or 4 place car (2+2 is a 4 place)
How big are you - more importantly, are you over either 6' and over 190 ish as either of these can make a difference in some 2 seaters (if you meet just one of these, say yes and you don't have to specify)
How old of a car are you willing to get?
Is cornering more important, or straight line?
How many miles are you willing to accept?
Coupe, Convertable, or Roadster?
Are you mechanically inclined? If so, are you willing to build a kit car?
Rank these in order- acceleration (0-60), cornering (skidpad/slalom), 2 seats or 4, age, mileage, top speed, requires a manual option, IRS (vs solid axle), interrior comfort (if you are a bigger person), RWD (lower priority here means FWD cars become available for consideration), ability to take a car to a dealer/mechanic for service vs doing it all yourself, accessories (low priority means a base car, higher means more option packages), and price (high priority means 20k is the limit, a middle means 25k, second to last means a max of 30k, and dead last means price does not matter. Depending on how you rank, you might be looking at an older porsche, a newer V-6 mustang, a base Mini-Cooper, etc)

You want a cheap car (under 20k), so you probably arn't going to get everything you want. You certainly are not going to get another Porsche for that price unless it's old and worn out or in need of significant repair. If your priorities are cheap, fairly new(low miles) and good cornering, you might need to accept low power and some discomfort if you are a bigger person.

Bang for the buck can mean a lot of things, so being honest about what you really want is important. Ultimately through, you may just have to decide that no car is going to please you for the price point you picked and you need to up your price point to get what you really want.

Last edited by Stonehauler; 05-11-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2012, 09:46 PM
mpress mpress is offline
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not much under 20K will give you the dynamics of a cayman...dollar for dollar best car in the porsche line up...and i drive a few of them...

had an M roadster... don't think it will d it for you... to go carty but definitely fun... splurge a little see if yo can find a mint condition old mazda rx7 closest thing to driving a 911....

or really suck it up and go test drive the new mini coupe convertible...drove one the other day at montecello race track that had been chipped, wheels spaced and bars and springs stiffened..and i was blown away by how amazingly fast and well behaved it was... left really wanting one!!!

or get a bike!!!!!

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  #10  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:00 AM
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Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S

I'm dead serious on this. Might cost a little bit more, but it's new and has been getting rave reviews
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:03 AM
MayorAdamWest MayorAdamWest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpress View Post
not much under 20K will give you the dynamics of a cayman...dollar for dollar best car in the porsche line up...and i drive a few of them...

had an M roadster... don't think it will d it for you... to go carty but definitely fun... splurge a little see if yo can find a mint condition old mazda rx7 closest thing to driving a 911....
That's an interesting observation of the m roadster. I havent tried one yet. The corvette would be great, but I'd want the new body, and they're hard to find even under 30k. Isn't the rx7 just as underpowered as the miata/mx-5? I could also wait and find some used BR-Z's, but I'm impatient
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  #12  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:05 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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I was considering buying a used 2009 Z4 3.5is. However in the end concluded, that only under very rare circumstances would I take that out versus the 550i.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:15 AM
MayorAdamWest MayorAdamWest is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I was considering buying a used 2009 Z4 3.5is. However in the end concluded, that only under very rare circumstances would I take that out versus the 550i.
If I hadn't owned the Cayman for 3 years, I might agree. Driving it was just on a totally different level from the 550. I might just have to suck it up and find another, but they are darn expensive to repair.
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:25 AM
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TJPark01 TJPark01 is offline
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:38 AM
MayorAdamWest MayorAdamWest is offline
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That list is odd, for sure, but they do list the m roadster.
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  #16  
Old 05-12-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
That list is odd, for sure, but they do list the m roadster.
Not easy to find a good one. The one owner cars want a good premium. Others that have little to no service history are too shrouded in secrecy for me to touch. Also, being an M car it's neither cheap nor easy to fix. The engine is pure magic though.
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2012, 12:23 PM
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Lotus Elise, can't think of a better weekend car for curvy roads. It will take into low $20K though for a 2005 car.
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2012, 02:11 PM
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1HOT BMR 1HOT BMR is offline
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If you are open to something other than a BMW then I have two suggestions: Honda S2000 or pay a touch more and get a 1991+ Acura NSX. They are both fun, fun, fun

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...04631896&Log=0

Last edited by 1HOT BMR; 05-12-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2012, 03:10 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
That's an interesting observation of the m roadster. I havent tried one yet. The corvette would be great, but I'd want the new body, and they're hard to find even under 30k. Isn't the rx7 just as underpowered as the miata/mx-5? I could also wait and find some used BR-Z's, but I'm impatient
A C6 (2005 and newer) can easily be bought for under 30K. In fact, an early coupe can be bought below $25K. You just have to look....and look past the asking price sometime.

Here, I did the search for you...

http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchr...les&sf2Dir=ASC
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2012, 04:46 PM
jason60050 jason60050 is offline
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I have had my eye on older NSX's they are still pretty pricey...they hold their value quite well. The Honda S2000 is a fantastic car with a great motor and transmission.
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  #21  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:12 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S

I'm dead serious on this. Might cost a little bit more, but it's new and has been getting rave reviews
Actually, the reviews I have read so far have noted that it's very underpowered and really kind of dull because it has too much grip.

So far the hype has outweighed the reality.

Read the recent Evo magazine. Words like "gutted" and "major disappointment" ring often.
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  #22  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:20 PM
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TJPark01 TJPark01 is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Actually, the reviews I have read so far have noted that it's very underpowered and really kind of dull because it has too much grip.

So far the hype has outweighed the reality.

Read the recent Evo magazine. Words like "gutted" and "major disappointment" ring often.
The chassis is all there, it just needs a lot more power.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:05 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
The chassis is all there, it just needs a lot more power.
The problem is, it makes TOO much grip.

From what I have read, a Miata, with less power, is more fun as it's more toss able.

But it's kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. Design a car to have a world class chassis, and you make it too dull because it needs a lot of power to approach the limits of the grip.
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Last edited by Needsdecaf; 05-12-2012 at 07:07 PM.
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:10 PM
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The problem is, it makes TOO much grip.
Something that can be fixed if Subaru gets around to making a BRZ STi
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:41 AM
jakepratt jakepratt is offline
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I have to second the Miata suggestion. I drove an S2000 for a couple of years around 2002. The S2000 was a blast to drive at illegal speeds but i felt like it was boring under 60. I talked my father into a Miata and drove it quite a lot. For everyday "fun" the miata was a perfect car. The car communicates very well and you can have a lot of fun taking off ramps and corners at typical legal speeds. Take a corner at 45 and break all 4 wheels loose was WAY more fun than scaring myself taking an off ramp at 70 in the S1000.
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